GTFM Expands into the Cynon Valley
Written by Gavin on 13th June 2021
Rhondda Cynon Taf based community radio station GTFM has extended its FM coverage to the Cynon Valley following the granting of special Ofcom permission to build relay transmitters.
The new service was officially launched at 1pm on Friday 11th June in a live broadcast from Aberdare by the Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough, Councillor Jill Bonetto.
Although the station had always included Cynon Valley local news and information in its programmes, reception of its Pontypridd signal was patchy due to intervening hills. But now the station is loud and clear on 100.7 & 107.1FM across the valley, with reception dovetailing with its original coverage on 107.9FM in the Abercynon area.
The expansion has been made possible through grant funding from the Pen Y Cymoedd Wind FarmCommunity Fund with additional support from housing association Trivallis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Mountain Ash Golf Club.
Among those welcoming GTFM at the Covid-restricted event was local MP Beth Winter who tweeted: “Really brilliant launch of GTFM radio’s new transmitters today at the Ynys….looking forward to listening on my travels around the Cynon Valley!”
And Cynon Valley Senedd Member Vikki Howells said:“Community radio is an important source of local news, volunteering opportunities and, of course, great music! I’m delighted”
Also present was Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Leader Councillor Andrew Morgan who said:“Great news that GTFM have now expanded into the Cynon Valley”.
Meanwhile Aberdare singer-songwriter and GTFM volunteer Ragsy is excited more people in his hometown will be able to hear his songs and acoustic music shows in future. We were also honoured to be joined by local resident and teller of Aberdare tales, BBC Radio Wales broadcaster Roy Noble.
GTFM’s Chairman of Trustees, Colin Dixon said: “Ofcom’s decision to award an extension to our coverage to officially include the Cynon Valley will allow us to provide cost effective radio advertising to more local businesses and a platform for community groups and charities to promote their amazing work across a much wider area.”
And Station Manager Terry Mann, who originally proposed the extension, said: “I’m delighted we’re finally on-air here with a clear signal. We’ve always included Cynon Valley news and information and now a lot more people have the opportunity to hear and participate in our inclusive and interactive community service”.
A volunteer powered radio station, GTFM operates as a registered charity and pioneered community radio in Wales. It started on a full-time basis 19 years ago and has already become the most listened–to radio station in the Pontypridd area, according to independent research. Later this year GTFM is also due to boost FM reception in the Ynyshir/Porth and Tonyrefail areas, with a step into digital (DAB) broadcasting planned for next year.